Born in Fire by K.F. Breene

51i-dmp630l-_sy346_Rating: 3 stars

Series: Fire and Ice Trilogy #1

I felt like this book tried to be more than it was. It had a little of all the classic UF stuff i.e. snarky heroine, heroine with special powers, unexpected sidekicks, hidden background. None of it melded into anything unique. 

Reagan had too much attitude. It was practically impossible for her to be serious no matter how dire the consequences. Sometimes it worked to her advantage because her behavior surprised others. Other times she seemed immature. Maybe it was just me but for about the first half of the book I had to remind myself that she was a woman. Her behaviors and actions made me think of a man.

Vampires are awesome, but these were fairly average vampires. Darius was the only one with considerable page time. I liked him but didn’t love him. He was the only potential love interest not that it was much of a romance.

Something about the writing style didn’t work well for me. I could follow the plot easily enough, but certain minor things didn’t flow well at times. Reagan’s secret was revealed at the end. I hadn’t figured out what she was but didn’t find it particularly shocking either.

The Heartstone Thief by Pippa DaCosta

32cc464f6ff9393819fdfb30b0b65b13Rating: 3.5 stars

Most people believed magic was nothing but a fairy tale. Those who used it were killed. Curtis Vance wanted to forget about magic and those who control it. After meeting a sorceress with some special skills, he was forced to face his past. She convinced him to help her find something rare. He didn’t help her out of the goodness of his heart; he was a thief after all.

The world building was great! There was a constant stream of new things to learn about it. I didn’t want to put it down because I wanted to find out more. It was action packed with one crazy thing happening after another. The characters were deceptive, so it hard to gauge who Vance could trust.

The reason I didn’t rate this book higher was because of the characters. Vance and the sorceress were the main ones. I liked Vance. He was intelligent and could manipulate others to save his own ass. It was kinda hard to believe the guy had lived so long because he couldn’t do shit to save himself when physical skills were required. The sorceress was fascinating because I never knew what her ultimate goal was. She did enough good things that I wanted to trust her, but she had too many secrets. My biggest issue with her was her lack of personality.

The plot was entertaining, and I liked the direction the story went in at the end. It’s unfortunate this is a standalone. The plot was wrapped up, but it’s a shame to develop such an interesting world and only get one story about it.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Siren by Katerina Martinez & Lee Dignam

31126013Rating: 3.75 stars

Series: Half Lich #1

Surprisingly this wasn’t the same old UF. It did have vampires, mages, and ghosts/evil spirits, but the world was different. Ghosts, poltergeists, and the like lived in an alternate realm, but sometimes they managed escape out of their world and into this one. Alice was the only person to have entered the other realm and lived to tell about it. Escaping that realm had consequences. Alice had a special one of a kind camera that allowed her to capture a soul in the picture, so people paid her to get rid of ghosts.

Alice wasn’t the usual do gooder type of heroine. Surviving was more important to her than trying to rid the world of evil and save the helpless. She wasn’t as heartless as she initially seemed. Isaac was Alice’s ex. He was a good guy but was also power driven. The chemistry between them was good but they were nowhere near ready to be in a relationship again.

The world building was explained well enough that I wasn’t confused about what was going on, but some things did need more clarification. It was mentioned that vampires and mages lived in the world. People were oblivious of the vampires around them, but I wasn’t sure if that was because the vampires blended in so well or if people did not know they existed at all. I assume some of the things without solid explanations for why they happened are going to be explained later on in the series. I am looking forward to reading the next one.